SAGUACHE — During their regular meeting Friday, Saguache County Commissioners spoke with Office of Emergency Management head Jim Felmlee regarding the licensure of ambulances in the county and the county’s duties per state law to license all ambulances.
Lisa Cyriacks, who attended the meeting, had raised questions regarding the Baca Grande Property Owners ambulance association, pointing out that in the one existing license she could find for ambulances, the BGPOA ambulance is improperly listed as BGPOA/Crestone Ambulance District. A meeting held earlier this summer in the Baca addressed issues BGPOA residents have had with the district and how to resolve those issues.
All ambulances in the county, per state statute, are supposed to be licensed by the county but only one ambulance license could be found. This was issued by Jason Anderson when he served as chairman, but was not signed by all three commissioners. Dennis Hunt, speaking for the county’s insurer, CTSI during a budget workshop held in 2015, cautioned commissioners against unilateral decisions made by any one board member.
Center and Northern Saguache fire districts also operate ambulances within the county.
Cyriacks and Crestone resident Bob Garnett advised commissioners that the statutes require the county to: “adopt by resolution or regulations a process for licensure of ambulance services.” This process includes:
• requesting a copy of each ambulance service’s policy manual
• confirming minimal vehicle insurance coverage
• confirming ambulance association members carry professional liability insurance
• supervising ambulance inspection by qualified representatives appointed by commissioners
• assuring equipment is properly secured and supplies and medications are properly stored
• establishing minimal equipment requirements
• creating a process and procedure for the issuing pf permits according to the “maximum level of service provided at any time” per the certification level of those offering service
• creating and annual license renewal process
• supervising staffing and
• developing policies and procedure for the denial, suspension and revocation of an ambulance service license.
Other requirements in the statutes also apply.
Currently no policy is in place in the county that sets ambulance standards. County administrators indicated they were not aware of such requirements and commissioners could not confirm they had passed a resolution or regulations regarding such policy. The requirements became law several years ago and counties were told to come into compliance under the law within a year.
Cyriacks noted that because the procedures deal with health and safety issues, the process requires particular due diligence on the part of the county.
County attorney Ben Gibbons suggested a policy should be adopted and shortly afterwards, the meeting was adjourned. Following the adjournment, Gibbons reportedly continued to discuss the development of the policy with commissioners, after those attending the meeting left the commissioners room.
Under the Colorado Open Meetings Law, such discussion is to be open to the public and held within the confines of a regular or special meeting.